Most automotive technicians know the central role of testing in the ASE certification process. But certification requires more than the ability to answer test questions; it also requires proof that you’ve been working in the industry, or receiving relevant training.
Two- or Three-Year Requirement
To become ASE-certified in most specialty areas, you must pass an ASE test and have at least two years of relevant full-time, hands-on work experience in the motor vehicle service industry. To notify ASE about your work experience, you must complete and submit the Work Experience Reporting Form. You can download a copy of this form using the link below. You can submit the form any time after you have registered to take any ASE certification test.
Advanced-Level certification (tests L1 and L2) requires an additional year of experience beyond the two-year Repair Technician requirement, for a total of three years.
You may register and take tests (except for the X1, L1, and L2 tests) before you have the necessary experience. If you do so, you will receive a score report, but you will not earn certification or receive certificates until you fulfill the experience requirement.
Different Experience Types
The Work Experience Reporting Form has separate sections for different types of automotive industry job experience, and your work experience must match the kind of certification you are trying to achieve. For example, experience as a Repair Technician (automobile, truck, school bus, etc.) does not satisfy the experience requirements for Collision Damage Estimator (test B6), Automobile Service Consultant (test C1), or Parts Specialist (tests P1, P2, and P4).
You may receive credit for up to one year of your two-year work experience requirement by substituting relevant formal training in one, or a combination, of the following:
High School Training: Two full years of training, either in automobile/truck/school bus repair or in collision repair, refinishing, or damage estimating, may be substituted for one year of work experience.
Post-High School Training: Two full years of post-high school training in a public or private trade school, technical institute, community or four-year college, or in an apprenticeship program may be counted as one year of work experience.
Short Courses: For shorter periods of post-high school training, you may substitute two months of training for one month of work experience.
You may receive full credit for the two-year work experience requirement with the following:
Completion of Apprenticeship: Satisfactory completion of either a three-or four-year bona fide apprenticeship program.
Completion of an OEM-Sponsored Co-op Program: Satisfactory completion of a post-secondary, two-year factory-sponsored training program that results in a two-year associate's degree or equivalent, such as GM ASEP, Ford ASSET, Toyota T-TEN, Honda PACT, or Chrysler CAP; plus adequate hands-on experience obtained during the co-op program.
To have your training considered as a substitute for work experience, complete the Work Experience Reporting Form and return it to ASE with an official transcript of courses, a statement of training, or a certificate showing satisfactory completion of apprenticeship. Documents must show the length of training received (hours or weeks).
The guidelines above apply, but credit will only be given for training related to automotive or truck parts. No credit will be given for mechanical repair or collision repair training. Also, experience as a Repair Technician will not satisfy the experience requirement for Parts Specialist certification.
Collision Damage Estimators:
The guidelines above apply, but credit will only be given for training related to damage analysis/estimating. No credit will be given for mechanical or collision repair training. Also, experience as a Repair Technician will not satisfy the experience requirement for Collision Damage Estimator certification.
The guidelines above apply, but credit will only be given for training related to service consulting. No credit will be given for mechanical or collision repair training. Also, experience as a Repair Technician will not satisfy the experience requirement for Service Consultant certification.
A valid provincial automotive trade certificate is acceptable evidence of sufficient work experience. Please include a copy of your provincial license with your completed report form.
ASE reserves the right to evaluate all requests for substitution of training for experience and to grant such credit as may be appropriate. Work experience other than that described above also may be credited toward fulfillment of the two-year experience where, in the ASE’s judgment, the nature of the experience so warrants.
If you have questions about the work experience requirement or training substitutions, call ASE Customer Service at 1-800-390-6789, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Eastern time, Monday through Friday.
Download the Form:
ASE Work Experience Reporting Form (PDF)